Why I Serve: An Interview With Owen Brown Village Board Member Kecia Rome

Kecia Rome had been a Columbia resident for less than a year when she joined the Owen Brown Village Board in 2011. Rome, 32, is now the vice chairwoman and is entering her third year on the board. She and her husband, Roger Rome Jr., have a son and a daughter.

You had barely arrived in Columbia when you joined the Owen Brown Village Board. What motivated you to serve?

“I’ve always been interested in serving. I worked in Columbia. I met my husband in Columbia, and he was raised in Owen Brown, two streets from where we live now. I’ve always had a sense of what Columbia does and what made Columbia so great. I had an inside scoop of how Columbia functioned, so once we moved here, I was equipped to jump in.”

What do you get out of being on the village board?

“Where much is given, much is required. People have always given back and dedicated themselves to their community to make it better and better and better. It’s fulfilling to be the advocate for residents and really be engaged and have a sense of pride in caring about where you live and making it better. We just celebrated 45 years of Columbia. I think it’s our duty to make the next 45 years as good, if not better, than the previous 45 years. You can only do that if you serve, if you volunteer and just are actively engaged.”

What issues do you feel are important for Owen Brown?

“What’s dear to my heart is Lake Elkhorn. I think it’s a beautiful place to go. It has a sense of community; it just fosters that inclusion you so often need. You know the people on your street, but how often do you meet different people from Owen Brown or Columbia and just find out who they are? I think we need to get through the dredging process so we can get more people back there. I’d like to see that project come to fruition, and I believe it will in the near future.”

And what issues are important to Columbia?

“I think it’s good for us to look at all ages and all stages of people’s lives and make sure we have something targeted for them. I think we do a great job with youth, infants, teenagers and seniors. We need to keep that the focus. It’s important, because everyone has needs, wants and desires. I think it’s good to address what we can in order to make Columbia a great place to live, work and play. Everybody has a voice, and we need to hear that voice and listen and react as appropriate, because they’re members of the community.”

Written by David Greisman

 

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